It’s easy to start panicking when you don’t have information about what’s going on with the COVID-19 crisis, but also when you have too much coming from different places and people, which is often incorrect information.
Here are some tips on how to manage all that information you are receiving – and passing on.
- Check sources. Text messages, screenshots of conversations, Instagram and Facebook posts, and even screenshots of online articles from non-newspaper websites are NOT reliable sources. Always go to an authority body to get correct information.
If someone tells you that they “got it from a reliable source,” check that source! Ask which website, which government agency, or which expert gave them the information. If they can’t provide you with this information, delete the message.
- Delete messages! Sometimes we think we are being helpful by forwarding these messages to our loved ones. We say, “It wouldn’t hurt, it’s better to be safe than sorry!” In this case, it really would hurt your loved ones if they receive wrong information and follow them.
Deleting the messages will lessen the chance of you spreading them out.
- Regularly check the websites of government agencies and ministries, especially in your country of residence. Here are some websites in Saudi Arabia that provide updates on the COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom:
- Take a break. Turn off your phone or get off the internet for at least a couple of hours a day, and take a break from the constant barrage of news and information about COVID-19. This will not only help you relax and restart your mind from the stress of the whole situation, it will also stop you from passing on any more information that might be wrong!
Take a break from even talking about coronavirus. Life goes on, do the things you enjoy (and the things you have to do that you keep putting off!).
- Don’t forward messages, especially if they contain suggestions on medication and treatment. You will be tempted to spam everyone with messages, but don’t do it. If you suspect someone needs medication or treatment, refer them to a hospital immediately.
- Don’t spend too much time on your phone, especially reading all kinds of articles and posts about COVID-19. It will often just make you feel too overwhelmed, and you might start to panic.
- Don’t get upset if someone asks you to provide a reliable source for information you share with them! They are not attacking you on a personal level, they are just trying to be safe. And so should you!
- Don’t believe everything you read or see. You should know this by now – it’s standard procedure even before the coronavirus outbreak.
Do you have any other tips on how to responsibly receive and share information about COVID-19? Let us know in the comments!